An important prerequisite for rebuilding a sustainable tourism industry in the north after a global pandemic triggered by covid-19, is knowledge of ways this pandemic change future travel patterns, who the guests will be and what preferences they will have.
The coronavirus has reminded us of our global dependence and our vulnerability. In addition, in the future we will need knowledge about how tourism can contribute to local value creation and safe jobs and support the social, cultural and economic rebuilding of northern destinations. We want to understand and participate in the reconstruction of a knowledge-driven sustainable tourism industry.
The project consists of two pillars. The first pillar will focus on what tourists do after the covid-19 and how they think about their own holiday mobility. We will be particularly interested in the ways in which the pandemic has contributed to changes in attitudes and behavior. Is it the case that the pandemic has made Norwegians more aware of and preoccupied with the environmental consequences of extensive holiday mobility and will national, regional and local destinations change their significance? The first data collection was carried out in September 2021. We will collect data each year during the project period to shed light on changes that occur over time. Professor Bente Heimtun will have the overall responsibility for this pillar.
In the second pillar, we will be concerned with destination development. Here, the research will focus on the Helgeland coast, Sápmi and Finnmark. Through the research, we want to strengthen our collaboration with destinations and actors that are important in the production of experiences for those who visit the region. We also want to map what is important, and how destinations implement the UN's sustainability goals. In the first phase of the project, we will map out what new measures and changes have taken place at the destination level; that is, look at how places have met the covid-19 challenges. Later in the project, we will follow the reconstruction of tourism, in close dialogue with relevant destination companies/business organizations and competence environments. We will build on dialogue-based research and co-production of knowledge. Professor Britt Kramvig will have the overall responsibility for this pillar.